Plastic bag ban takes hold in Paws & Go

Jessica Greenberg | Contributing Reporter

Students accustomed to buying bulk quantities of groceries at Paws & Go might have noticed something missing in the past week.

Tote Green, a reusable bag initiative featured at Clinton Global Initiative University last year, was started around 10 months ago, culminating in what started last week: a ban on plastic bags at Paws & Go.

The move, considered an inconvenience by some late-night snack eaters, looks to improve on the environmental impact of Paws & Go and the Village Market, which distribute nearly 60,000 plastic bags each year—none of which can be recycled, according to senior Jake Lyonfields and junior Ryan Halvorsen.

Lyonfields, executive advisor for sustainability, and Halvorsen, an SU senator and campus services committee chair, said 325,000 bags are used on campus annually. Because plastic bags are not a high-enough-grade plastic to be recycled in St. Louis, they end up in landfills.

Lyonfields and Halvorsen said landfills are both environmental and social concerns. From an environmental standpoint, landfills contribute to the harmful greenhouse gases—such as methane—emitted into the air we breathe. From a social viewpoint, landfills are placed where land is cheap—these areas being those closer to lower-income communities.

The plastic bag ban is currently limited to just Paws & Go as part of a one-month trial.

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